Boston MedFlight says it has experienced a major increase in demand in the last year as Massachusetts has dealt with a shortage of EMTs on the ground.
When a man was bitten by a shark in Truro, and a person was hit by a car in Natick, and when a small plane went down in a remote location, Boston MedFlight racing to the scene.
"If we are going somewhere, it is for a very good reason," Taylor Clark, a pilot for Boston MedFlight, said Thursday.
This year has been Boston MedFlight's busiest yet.
Get Boston local news, weather forecasts, lifestyle and entertainment stories to your inbox. Sign up for NBC Boston’s newsletters.
From the air, and from the ground, the stresses of a health care system that has been overburdened over the last few years have rippled through the emergency response world.
"There is less capacity at the hospitals, less staff, less beds, so we are moving patients wherever they need to get care," said Maura Hughes, CEO of Boston MedFlight.
The organization used to spend most of its time in the Boston area. Now, flights as far north as Vermont and Maine are pretty regular. The nonprofit even flew to New York City last week to pick up a patient.
In-depth news coverage of the Greater Boston Area.
"The pediatric beds are really tight right now, but the one good thing about our health care system is it is very tight and it works very well together," said Hughes.
Boston MedFlight is also feeling the tight labor market, with each medical helicopter and ground ambulance staffed with a critical-care nurse and critical-care paramedic.
"It is incredibly difficult to get the level of staff that we need, but we have a really highly-trained group, and we are always hiring," Hughes said.
With demand only expanding, Boston MedFlight has added a new plane that will arrive early next year.
The nonprofit is looking to stay one flight ahead in an industry where the sky really is the limit.
"When you take care of the sickest patients, all of the outcomes are not going to be the way you want them to be, but when you get those wins, they are extremely rewarding," said Jennifer Wheeler, base manager and flight paramedic for Boston MedFlight.